By Adrienne Lee
Asian-American hate crimes have been escalating ever since the start of COVID-19, causing violence and fear within the Asian-American community. The majority of these hate crimes include harassment, verbal abuse, and even assault. Many Asian-American students also often experience microaggressions from their fellow peers. Microaggressions are prejudiced comments or actions that are often expressed subtly and unintentionally towards a member(s) of a marginalized group. They cause feelings of guilt and/or fear among Asian-Americans. What can we as a community do to reduce and put an end to these hate-crimes?
In order to make an effective impact, it’s important to firstly understand the potential causes for the increase in these hate crimes after COVID-19. After the spikes of COVID-19 in early 2020, it was soon revealed that the origins of the disease lie in mainland China. Former President Donald Trump used this opportunity to spread much hate towards Asian-Americans as well, using terms such as “the China Virus” and “Kung Flu.” However, even before COVID-19, many Asian-American citizens claimed to be mistreated. Their hate crimes have never received much attention from the media as many go unreported.
Here are 5 ways are how you can make an impact in the Stop AAPI Hate movement:
Reaching Out to your Asian-American Peers
By reaching out to your Asian-American peers, you will gain their point of view, allowing you to not only empathize with their experience, but also confront the issue with a more accurate understanding of how the members of the community truly feel.
Take part in learning about different Asian cultures
Taking part in learning about different Asian cultures can make a great impact, as the Asian-American community often has a limited view, typically only being perceived as consisting of Chinese. It not only broadens your views on the unique differences between each culture, but it also allows you to help spread what you learned to your fellow peers.
Advocate for awareness among your peers & media platforms
Advocating for awareness among your peers, through media platforms, can be quite impactful, as many may not be aware of current issues in the Asian-American community. Simply posting this content on your social media pages or stories can be impactful.
Speak out if you witness a hate crime
It is important that you speak out if you witness a hate crime, as many hate crimes go unreported, causing them to not receive as much attention from the community & media. In addition, you could share your report with organizations with larger platforms such as Stop AAPI Hate to gain larger attention.
Check in with your Asian-American peers
Simply taking some time to check in with your fellow Asian-American peers can be beneficial as the increase in hate-crimes often causes fear and anxiety among many members of the community. Checking in with them can allow them to feel heard and recognized.
Although we are in a world of millions of people, your voice can still be heard. Whether it’s simply discussing the topic with a friend or family member, protesting for an end to hate, any effort can make an impact. Just like Eliezer Wiesel had once said, “Indifference, after all, is more dangerous than anger or hatred.”
Stop AAPI Hate is a major movement looking to end hate crimes and discrimination toward Asian-Americans. You can learn more about them and contribute to their effort here: https://stopaapihate.org/